Pottery in the subcontinent

The Pottery Of India

Indian utilitarian potteryThe origin of Indian pottery goes back to the Indus Valley civilization. Due to the problems of transportation in the early days the potters came to the villages and set up shop on the outskirts. Usually this was a family enterprise, some of the pottery being created on wheels and some were handmade. After finding suitable soil they built their temporary kilns and produced and sold their wares before moving on to the next village. The pots were favored for water transportation and storage, grain storage along with cooking pots and storage for oil, beer, milk, and curd. Some of the grain storage pots were 10 ft high and 5 Ft wide earthenware.

Over time distinctive styles emerged in the different states of India. These days it seems every village in India has a resident potter ( known as a Khumbar ) and they usually work from home and have a remarkable collection of pottery ware to sell, usually displayed on the street in front of their houses.


The making of glazed pottery developed under the influence of the Arabs in India and the Mogul art inspired some of the designs.This occurred around the 12th century when the Muslim rulers encouraged potters from the middle east to settle in India. To this day pottery is utilized for a vast array of domestic, religious and special occasions. Painted pots for marriages, pots for Sanskrit seedling ceremonies, lamps for the” festival of lights”( diwali ), common earthenware, along with decorative pieces ( eg, vases , bowls ,teapots )

lidded pottery with floral decorationLidded pottery


collection of Indian blue pots

Indian blue pottery



The bulk of Indian pottery is characterized by three main styles, black pottery, blue pottery and terracotta as well as the unglazed being  divided into paper thin, scrafito and highly polished. In some parts of India the potters maintain a high status due to being involved in the production of deities for religious ceremonies, terracotta being the common medium. Terracotta horses of the height of 7 metres have been used in temples.

Incised Indian pottery

Intricate pottery decorationFine detail pottery decoration



Indian Storage Pots



throwing clay on a pottery wheel

Throwing clay



red twin handled pot with mandlala motifs

Red twin handled pot


Red baluster pottery with floral bandRed baluster pottery with floral band




Outdoor pottery market in IndiaOutdoor pottery market in India



selection of market pottery

Market pots


Mastercraftsman Harikrishan Kumbhar creating on a pottery wheel

Mastercraftsman Harikrishan Kumbhar on pottery wheel




street pottery market

Surajkund mela


Two Ganesha statues

Kapaleeshwarar Temple Chennai

Kapaleeshwarar Temple Chennai (meandfrenchie.com)



Jaipur Pottery


Sona s Pottery


Pottery art market in Gujarat, India  ( gypsygeek )

Painting pots in India

Indian women potters

Prince Andrew at the Kumbharwada-potters colony, Mumbai

Potter at work in the village of Gunupur, Orissa, India. Photo  – Chris Lisle




  1. Anonymous
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Good collection

  2. Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I am looking to make some bespoke pottery for my restaurant, please reply if anyone know of any suppliers.

  3. Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I am looking to make some bespoke pottery for my Indian restaurant, please reply if anyone know of any suppliers who can make good quality pottery to specific design. Thank you.

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